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From Cow to Clown
A journey through the social web of animal compassion, environmentalism and vegetarianism - Forward and Introduction


you are here> Cow to Clown - Introduction
Chapter 1 - Where is the Grass Greener?
Chapter 2 - In the Land of Friends or Follies
Chapter 3 - Terminology
Chapter 4 - Other Side Of The Fence
Cow to Clown - Epilogue

VeggieBite ...
Humans evolved to live on the fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains which were plentiful in primeval surroundings - our bodies were never designed to eat animals.

VeggieGlobal's "Cow To Clown" is a mini-book mainly for visitors to VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass who are close to turning veggie. However, it also covers social aspects of vegetarianism, animal welfare and environmentalism that should prove an interesting - if not provocative read for current veggies and animal lovers as well.
"Cow To Clown"
is a pragmatists guide to what and who you might meet along your vegetarian inspired path.
It suggests ways to interact, what to avoid and how to ultimately end up a happy and inspired "global compassionate".

 

Forward

At the beginning of 2005 the effects of global warming were becoming far more than just passing news fillers. The media, television in particular, began to emphasize more than ever the devastating effects that humanity is having on the planet. New evidence shows that global warming is accelerating far quicker than any science or computer modelling had ever previously predicted. Particularly in the UK, TV screens are now often filled with documentaries showing and debating the effects of our global destruction on both land and sea.
Even the Indonesian tsunami was shown to have caused significantly more damage and death because of rising sea levels caused by global warming. In fact it's reasonable, if not contentious, to consider that we are all responsible for those additional deaths by causing un-naturally higher sea-levels in the first place.
Pumping out carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, depleting natural resources and persistence in living an ever-consuming lifestyle means that perhaps you, along with the rest of the human race are continuing to commit what can only be called "global suicide".

As an individual, how can you help to reverse that trend ... and what has being vegetarian got to do with it?

On the top-right corner of many VeggieGlobal pages you'll find a snip of useful info about vegetarian-based living. Two of these VeggieBites say:

The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a person on a meat-eating diet is 3.25 acres. The amount of land needed to produce a one-year food supply for a pure vegetarian is just 1/6 (0.16) acre.
From: "Diet for A New America" by John Robbins

Researchers at Chigaco University have calculated that a meat eater emits 1.5 tonnes more Co2 than a vegan, and half a tonne more Co2 than a Honda or Toyota hybrid car uses in a year!

In other words, by turning organic-veg*n you are helping to reduce the impact of the greenhouse effect and at the same time restore land back to its natural state, which would otherwise be used for rearing animals for slaughter. This return to nature will allow pesticide-free, CO2 absorbing, oxygen-giving flora to grow and help re-balance the environment. This will, of course also help dwindling wildlife to recover.
There are many more examples like this, and the world's ocean is another vital element that needs to be saved right now to prevent the loss of all life on this planet. Oceans are becoming highly acidic due to pollution and the depletion of its marine life. Again, by being vegetarian our fish and therefore the ecology of the oceans a chance to recover. This, along with other changes need to be put in place now to stop humans from using the sea as a dumping ground. In fact, if you are just turning vegetarian and you are doing it in stages, fish should be the first thing give up. (See more below or on our
veggieguide site)

By realizing that all this devastation could be reversed through becoming vegetarian (and of course being energy-conscious as well) then it becomes clear how an organic / veggie lifestyle could make a huge diference to the future of this planet. If you live in a society where fruit, veg and protein-packed meat alternatives are abundant, then think veggie, not only for animal ethics or personal health, but as a duty towards helping to save and bring back a smile to the entire world.

There is an old saying:
"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today".
VeggieGlobal and Looking-Glass redefines this for the 21st century:
"Action today creates hope ... action tomorrow is too late".

Introduction

Aspects of veggieglobal.com have been involved in programs and issues covering animal welfare, vegetarianism and conservation on all kinds of interactive levels; observing viewpoints, habits and behaviour amongst those involved. This has helped build a profile on what's out there in the land of lentils and sun-dried tomatoes, where those wonderful torch-laden oddballs help toads across the road at midnight!
And as our main site introduction suggests, the stereotypical image of a lentil-bound ageing hippy dancing bare-bottomed round a tree has long been overshadowed by the draw of future trends. Modern day vegetarianism may stem from some social aspects of the Flower-Power generation - but vegetarianism is now integral to many societies, incorporating a far wider cultural mix than ever.

Vegetarianism should be an overall indicator of compassion, but there is a sliding scale of reasons as to why people turn veggie. There's self-preservation because of concern about diseases that one might catch from eating meat. Slipping further down the scale there are those who like to pretend they are veggie, but actually eat fish and non-veggie cheeses etc., calling themselves veggie simply because it's trendy!
In fact, eating fish and abstaining from meat is a moral farce from both an ethical and environmental aspect. It has recently been biologically proven that fish feel pain and emotions just like mammals. Fish are taken from an natural environment and the oceans have been seriously depleted of marine life because of this. While farm animals are managed and restocked, fish in the sea aren't. The fishing industry has harvested the oceans to near extinction. If you want to consider the importance of marine-based ethics while becoming vegetarian then consider fish as an equally important moral issue as meat.

Naturally aspired compassion is a rare human quality. It means empathy towards all earth's creatures in its purest form and without doubt the ultimate alignment which harmonizes with earth's own natural organic evolution. This means it transcends beyond the act of individual preservation or theological practices. For a start, it isn't derived from an abstract source like religion and it doesn't (or shouldn't) represent a cultural divide. Naturally aspired compassion is a slowly evolving realization, something which humans seriously have to take on board - to realign their traits for all kinds of common-sense reasons - to repair and heal the planet in a variety of ways before they destroy it - and therefore themselves.
So in a way, popular vegetarianism could be considered both a form of animal compassion and self-preservation at the same time. Regardless of their ignorance, pseudo-veggies are saving a few animals by abstaining from certain meats but that's as far as it goes - because they are still essentially carnivores and not vegetarian.

Some words at the beginning of this introduction mirror the kind of remarks that a veggie or animal campaigner might encounter during their life. Are you an "oddball", "peculiar" or one of the "funny people" - just because you wear your compassionate heart on your sleeve? Of course not. Ignorant people sneer at your proactive lifestyle simply because they subliminally feel threatened by a sense of un-quantifiable purism. It's simply a foreign language to them - it's an emotion that doesn't fit their self-serving type of conventional lifestyle.
Such people may also think you are displaying self-righteousness ... but whether they like it or not, you are in fact, openly representing a truth about human disharmony - and presenting a pure and clear view of ultimate kindness. This, in reality is un-putdownable, but some other people can't deal with that because they feel it shows up their own ignorance and lack of compassion. Hence, the only way they can deal with it is by jesting at your expression of concern.
Showing kindness or "compassion" through vegetarianism is an emotion that uncomfortably runs against the grain of many people's own short-sighted lifestyle.
In fact, you have nothing to be ashamed of by taking the ethically minded path - it shows initiative that encompasses empathy, care and concern. The only problem is that there are slight risks of being tarnished with the same brush as those hard-line activists who bring a bad name to the subject of animal welfare - *Those who threaten lives as part of a self-righteous mission, rather than seek a passive path of protest that can encourage proper dialogue for change.

*Although we empathize with the anxieties of many animal and environmental activists we do not condone or excuse the use of violence against others as part of their active process.

So... you, as a level-headed global compassionate have nothing to feel uncomfortable about ... That is how the philosophy of VeggieGlobal aims to guide you on your own journey as a vegetarian, to ensure that you don't wander from the path ... either into self-righteousness or even back into meat-eating just because of unsympathetic remarks directed at you by a peer group of carnivores!

In the 21st century, there is a clear common pattern of opposing social extremes ... redneck meat-eaters and pro-hunters on one side and on the other, hooded extremists masquerading under the banner of compassion for animals - but who threaten human lives in the process.
Amongst this we also have to endure self-serving politics on one extreme and self-serving religion on the other. With all of this human intolerance in constant turmoil, it's almost impossible for naturally aligned compassion to rise above it and therefore extinguish those kinds of destructive forces.
Only by a carefully balanced mix of self-realization, moral education, individual thinking and willingness to accept personal faults - can the rest of this world begin to harmonize with a passive flow of common sense. We have to willingly endure a path which reverses degradation and therefore enriches our relationship with the natural world as well as each other for the future.

With this in mind, there is of course turmoil and disharmony all around us - even within the world of animal welfare. There are animal organizations and lobbyists on every level, and from many social backgrounds. In effect they are all fighting a common cause and there is colourful characterization among such activists, veggies or otherwise who wave the banner of animal peace. But it also generates a melting pot of social contention and argument.

Naturally aspired veggies don't normally carry the torch of self-righteousness. But there are a contrived few amongst various green classes who can upset the apple cart - agitating a transparent flow towards what we all otherwise hope would be a "natural" stage of human evolution. Because of this you'll find that many vegetarians and animal campaigners can live by dramatically different agendas; why they are - what they are - or do what they do.
So the idea here in this VeggieGlobal mini-book called Cow to Clown is to lay the cards on the table and organize them in a way that provides you with a clear sense as to why YOU are doing what you do, or want to do, without fear of becoming stereotyped or the victim - just for being what you want to be ... a contributor to compassionate causes for the most natural of all reasons ... kindness.


next>> Chapter 1 - Where is the Grass Greener?
A pragmatists view of the geographical and social aspect of vegetarianism and animal welfare.

Index
you are here> Cow to Clown - Introduction
Chapter 1 - Where is the Grass Greener?
Chapter 2 - In the Land of Friends or Follies
Chapter 3 - Terminology
Chapter 4 - Other Side Of The Fence
Cow to Clown - Epilogue

Suggested reading linked to these issues

 

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